Alleged gangster said he used to sell panties
While declaring that he was just a hard-working family man, one of the alleged members of the Clansman-One Don gang yesterday told the court that he had to peddle panties at times to provide for his family.
The defendant, Lamar Simpson, while giving an unsworn statement in the Home Circuit Court, emphasised that he had worked very hard to care for his family. Although pointing out that his main job was in construction, Simpson said "A whole heap a time me a walk wid g-string pon my shoulder just fi take care a my family."
"Mi mother, she grow me well-respected and mannersable, no disrespect," the father of two added. He denied being part of the gang and taking part in any criminal activities. He also contended that the two main witnesses, who are ex-gangsters, were telling lies on him as he never drove in their car with them to commit any crimes anywhere.
"I am a law-abiding citizen, I never been own a gun in my life, or I never have a gun," Simpson said. "I am no don for nowhere, I am no don for no man. I am a man who stand for my family and children and now I am here, I don't even know what going on with them because it's been a while..." he said as his voice started to crack.
He also denied being a top-tier member of the gang claiming that the first time that he heard the term was when he came to court.
"Please I am asking you to look through my side and every side. I am not guilty of anything," he told the judge. Another defendant, Tareek James, who is alleged to have been the bodyguard for the gang's reputed leader Andre 'Blackman' Bryan, told the court that he is innocent and has been singing about his freedom.
"Your Honour from me get caught, a regular me inna me cell and mi have a boom box, you know which song me a play? ' All I have is my dreams and all I want is my freedom," he said.
The 22-year-old, who is the youngest of the 28 remaining defendants, said he has never guarded Bryan and did not know him personally although he saw him in the community building his studio.
"I doubted I have ever spoken to him," he said. "I never volunteer to do crime or confessed or told anybody that I kill anybody. This is all a surprise to me. Your Honour, I would like for you to look into these things please."
The two defendants were among 23 others who gave statements yesterday while presenting their cases in court. Only two gave sworn statements. However, two defendants have opted not to give any statement while two others are yet to open their cases. The trial continues today.